Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa – Review

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa – Review

I’ve been on the travel hacking tip lately, using credit cards to gain points for free first class travel. I am attempting to hack a first or business class flight to Thailand on Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines with hotels included. I’ve currently earned enough points for one flight, but still need to earn enough points for the second flight for The Director. After I have finished hacking the trip I will give a full recap of how I did it all! For the purposes of travel hacking, I have read that it is important to choose a hotel loyalty program to stick to. I was deciding between Starwoods, Hilton and Hyatt and I decided to invest my time in Hyatt.

I plan on signing up for the Hyatt Credit Card. For new users, as long as you spend $1000 in the first three months of account opening, you will earn two free nights at any Hyatt Property. You will also earn 5000 points if you sign add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the same time frame. There is a yearly fee of $75 for the card which is easily justifiable, especially if you redeem your two hotel nights at a category 6 hotel, which starts at $700 a night. Click here for more about what is offered with the Hyatt Credit Card

I chose the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort and Spa because The Director loves to watch golf. I thought that a great birthday getaway would be one that included access to a beautiful golf course and upon searching on Google, the Hyatt Indian Wells was highly recommended. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the blistering hot weather of the desert, hitting 110 degrees daily, so unless you wanted to wake up at 5am to golf in 80 degree weather, actually golfing was out of the question. Luckily, the ample pools on the property made up for the missed golfing opportunity.

I booked the hotels for Friday and Saturday night. Originally at booking, I figured we would only want to golf for one day, on Saturday. Therefore I booked Friday night on the Big Break Golf Package at $297 and $239 for the second night Breakfast Package. I selected the Deluxe Golf View Room with a King Sized Bed.

It takes about 3 hours to make it to Indian Wells from West Hollywood, but we mistakenly left LA around 3PM, so we didn’t arrive at Indian Wells until almost 8PM. Big mistake!

It was still light out and still very hot!

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa Entrance

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Entrance

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I try Cuban Coffee for the First Time

I try Cuban Espresso for the First Time

I was excited to try out BUSTELO COOL COFFEE DRINKS for the first time from WALMART! Bustelo is a brand inspired by the flavors of Cuba – they call it “The Flavor that Doesn’t Hold Back” and it’s a delicious Cuban style coffee drink

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Bustelo Cool Cafe

Look, I’m never going to brew a fancy coffee at home, so for those days when I need a quick energy boost, I can just grab the Cafe Bustelo coffee drinks on-the-go. I’m often running late in the mornings and I just need to jump in my car and be on my way to start the day. I like to grab a Cafe Bustelo Cool and get a jolt of clarity before the work day gets going

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Certain brands of canned coffee are way too sweet and not strong enough. Cafe Bustelo has a bold, rich flavor with just enough sweetness. The most popular flavors are Cafe Con Leche and Cafe Con Chocolate. My favorite is Cafe Con Leche!

$1.50 cash back offer at Walmart

Ibotta is currently offering a $1.50 cash back offer on a 4 pack of 8 oz. cans on Bustelo Cool Coffee Drinks at Walmart! Make sure to search for Bustelo in the COFFEE aisle, not the soda aisle.

With the cash back deal, Bustelo’s 8oz costs almost 40% less per can than purchasing a similar product at your local coffee shop without the delicious Cuban coffee taste!

Click here to redeem the offer!

Cafe Bustelo 5 Cafe Bustelo 4 Cafe Bustelo 3 Bustelo Coffee

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

Review: The Palms Place, Las Vegas

Review: The Palms Place, Las Vegas

Briefly visited Las Vegas for one night for the Licensing Expo, the hotel room was chosen by my bosses at CCYP, the parent company that just hosted the highly successful KTOWN Night Market this past weekend with 50,000 attendees. We came to meet with brands about potential partnerships for Anime Impulse 2017

I just stayed one night but I could’ve stayed all week, I love Vegas Hotels! They are so sumptuous and over the top and there are countless food options on the casino floor. Every hotel a has a pool so never forget your swimsuit when packing for a Vegas getaway.

I couldn’t find a loyalty program for The Palms Place which was unfortunate, I am just getting started with the loyalty and points game and loyalty programs will weigh in heavily on my decisions of where to continue to stay during future travels

At The Palms Place I was staying at The Studio Suite, Superior Room which goes for $229.88 a night on average. Theres also a $30 per day resort fee on top of that!

We arrived on Tuesday early evening around 6PM. Check-in was super easy, there was only one other guest in front of us in line. It was strange though, when we asked for hotel rooms next to each other the receptionist said that they were unable to accommodate because they were completely sold out. Seemed strange because it was a random Tuesday without a huge convention in town and the reception area was not busy at all. Granted we were arriving to check-in at an off hour, but I found it curious.

I had just returned from New York and of course had misplaced my id. Although my boss, who was standing next to me, had booked and paid for the hotel room, they would not release the hotel room to me unless I provided a photo id. The counter guy told us that we would have to call Expedia to change the ticket which would be a big hassle! Luckily I emptied out my bag and found my id.

Check-in Counter

The Palms Hotel Room Check in

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Masters of Taste

Masters of Taste

Kiki Wongo and I were so lucky to have been accepted as press to attend Masters of Taste Los Angeles. The event took place at the beautiful Rose Bowl in the city of Pasadena. What was also great about the event besides it’s innate deliciousness was that 100% of all proceeds went to Union Station Homeless Services. Yes that’s right, 100%!

Our friends and favorites Ayara Thai had one of the tastiest treats at the event. We were so lucky to get to sample much of their menu at the Ayara Thai Influencer Luncheon put on my my firm Hello Drama Pr

Ayara Thai

Masters of Taste @ayarathai

What I really love about Ayara Thai is that they have a rotating list of super authentic Thai dishes at their restaurant. Although their Chicken Khao Soi at The Lucky Rice Festival was stellar, they totally switched it up with these Spicy Larb Salmon in a Squid Ink Cone. I’m salivating just thinking

Ayara Thai

Source Instagram: @polishedkitchen

Source Instagram: @polishedkitchen

 

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How to travel in Australia on a budget

How to travel in Australia on a budget

Perhaps a trip to the green continent is the most desirable for young travelers, and for older people as well. However, going to conquer the vastness of Australia, we face a number of challenges, first and foremost is the problem of finances. Where can we get so much money to spend it on a dream trip? Yes, this is not for the low-budget traveler, but you can save by planning your trip to Australia wisely.

Depending on what the objectives and interests of traveling to Australia you are pursuing, it would be smart make a trip plan. In this article we want to give you some good tips to help you get started in the country of kangaroos, and spend almost nothing (besides the visa and flight) in the journey. And even if the Australian dollar rises, the country has a lot of free and affordable places to explore. So, if you are a student stop searching how to buy essays and research how to plan your trip to Australia!

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Love Yourself, Love Your Nature!

Love Your Nature!

This post is sponsored by Burt’s Bees

We are all individually unique and we need to celebrate these differences and allow ourselves to shine. Love Your Nature!

Source: Dark Beauty Magazine

Source: Dark Beauty Magazine

 

I have always been proud of my heritage and ethnicity as an Asian American, Taiwanese female but I was terribly insecure about a tremendous amount of things about myself growing up. I’ve improved drastically in this department, but I am still insecure about my butt – wanting that Kim Kardashian booty!  There are some things that I admit that I have upgraded in myself. I got breast implants when I was 18 years old, and I haven’t regretted them for one single day. I’ve also had huge issues with my hair. All through my youth I was absolutely insecure about things such as my skin, the size of my eyes (I wanted huge KPOP star eyes), my nose, the list is endless.

I am happy that as I have grown and matured I have truly learned to love myself. Trust me, it’s still a complete work in progress but every day I love myself just a little bit more. It’s so important in the journey of self confidence and self love to be proud of who you are, where you came from and most importantly what you stand for. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, you shouldn’t be ashamed of anything that you did, as long as you learned from the experience and don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I am writing a 30 day guide on the journey to happiness…more on that soon!

Burt’s Bees is currently featuring high fashion model Diandra. Diandra looked different growing up and faced discrimination and judgement from people around her but her confidence grew as she matured. One day she was scouted by a photographer and the next week she was signed and walking in New York Fashion Week.  She says “We’re all different, and we should love that about ourselves.

 Please share if you think it’s important to help inspire others!

Nightlife Glam

Nightlife Glam

Ugh, I know the title of this post is super lame but I am drawing a complete blank for the title. The pantsuit was rented from Rent the Runway, got a size 4 and it fits but definitely a bit snug, I need to work out! I love the side cutouts, perfect to show off your favorite gladiators. The pantsuit does look different from the picture from the website, I had expected the middle part to be sheer which would have definitely amped up the look a couple notches

Photo by: Will Chiang

Jumpsuit by Rachel Zoe from Rent the Runway

Shoes by Shoedazzle

Necklace from Rocksbox

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Chopped Champion’s Epic Ten Course Meal

Chopped Champion’s Epic Ten Course Meal

We were so lucky to be invited to Taji Marie‘s Pop-up Dinner at Wilde Wine Bar on La Brea Blvd. Taji is a Chopped Champion, and so many of us are completely obsessed with that show! Taji also runs her catering company The Simple Gourmet Kitchen and is a food stylist for outlets such as America’s Test Kitchen, Health Magazine and Access Hollywood Live.

I love the quote on top of Taji’s website: “one cannot THINK well, LOVE well, SLEEP well, if one has not DINED well” Virginia Woolf. I am guilty of frequently being HANGRY, so the idea of the importance of being well fed is not lost on me! We definitely let our meal well-fed and with our taste buds well stimulated.

The Pop-Up Dinner was hosted be Wilde Restaurant, truly a hidden gem in my neighborhood! Wilde has earned an unheard-of, near-perfect rating on Yelp, with regulars fawning over its down-to-earth approach, delicious, straightforward cooking and eclectic wine list.

Special thanks to Lorna for this amazing experience!

The exciting menu for the evening
Wilde Taji Marie Menu

Springtime Avgolemeno

The meal started off with a huge bowl of savory avgolemeno. I have never heard of an avgolemeno before, its a Greek Chicken Rice Soup. It was lush and soothing, very reminiscent of jook – the Chinese Porridge which I love to eat at dim sum! The fresh vegetables and herbs topping the dish definitely gave us a bright burst of springtime
Wilde Taji Marie Soup

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Chang-an brings delicious high end Chinese food to SGV

Chang-an brings delicious high end Chinese food to SGV

Had an epic meal at Chang’an! Thanks so much to Gogobot for making it all possible

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The owners are super passionate about their restaurant vision and frustrated by more mainstream Chinese restaurants in the United States which are specifically catered to the American tastebuds and not at all authentic. Chang’an wants to show American eaters that authentic Chinese food is just as delicious as dishes like General Tso’s Chicken.

My favorite dish hands down was the fried soft tofu. It was fried with a seasoning similar to the popular Chinese salt and pepper shrimp dish, but I’ve never seen this seasoning used on soft tofu specifically. The delicate tofu was creamy and hot inside and burst in my mouth. So yummy!

Chang’an also excelled at skewers, they prepared the traditional lamb skewers and various cuts of meat perfectly. We also had an amazing pork belly dish, melt in your mouth and with a beautiful presentation, placed elegantly on top of fresh bok choy. Highlights of the meal also included the fried chicken and eggplant dishes. Can’t wait to go back!!

Hong Shao Rou
1 Chang-an Restaurant Hong Shao Rou

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Flower Child

Flower Child

I do have quite a penchant for flowy floaty dresses, especially at work, I really need to comfortable when working all day at the office, at work its all about loose clothing! At work I would wear this dress without a belt but for a quick “night-out” look, I can easily dress it up with my favorite shoes and a statement belt. I was excited to collaborate with GCGme on this post!

Photo by: Gallant Ho

Dress by GCGme

Shoes by SheIn

Watch by Wood Watches by JORD

Flowy Dress 2 Flowy Dress 3 Flowy Dress